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Joined: Jul 29, 2022
April 6th, 2024 at 4:20:48 PM permalink
Minecraft is a sandbox-survival game. It's also a place for hardcore gambling. For over a decade, a gambling game has been around online servers where you bonemeal a line of grass, and win money if a flower grows. Despite being around for so long, no one's bothered to analyze the game, maybe because it's little kids playing for virtual diamonds and don't care.

The game is set up with a line of grass blocks (3, 5, or 7) and the "dealer" bonemeals the grass. Bonemeal in Minecraft grows plants on grass instantly. If a flower or flowers grows on any of the grass blocks, you win! A fun concept, but horribly executed especially when you have no clue how often a flower grows. After analyzing, many of these games offer odds worse than the Powerball lottery. A common paytable I see on a 5 block game is 0, 1.25, 1.5, 2, 5, and 10-for-1 payouts on 0-5 flowers respectively.

So what are the odds? A surprisingly hard thing to find on such a well-documented game. I saw one source reference a 1/10 chance and a Redditor getting ~1/9 results. I got results closer to 1/10 with my small sample testing so my analysis is assuming 1/10 for a flower. The other 9/10 is always tall grass which is not significant to the game. In reality, the chances are lower. Bonemeal grows plants at a 90% (total guess) success rate meaning a flower can never grow on a block where nothing grows. To get around this you just have to keep bonemealing until all blocks are occupied. Many dealers don't do this which lowers your odds further.

Here is the paytables I recommend. House edges are 7.92%, 9.03%, and 18.7% respectively.

Of course you can change the pay table to whatever you'd like. For reference, the 5 block paytable I gave earlier has a House edge of 46%! As for being a responsible dealer, I recommend you have no less than 10 and preferably more than 20 bets to handle and variance from a player being lucky. You should also have enough to pay out a top prize. So if you want to offer a max bet of 10 diamonds, you should have 200 or more diamonds yourself to be ready to pay out.
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